TBD on Ning

And no, it is not raw fish wrapped with rice on a plate.

Sochi is the next Olympic extravaganza that will start in a few weeks. As such, this is a spectacular brought to us by the largesse of the Russian people as expressed by the Russian president, Putin. It has been estimated that as such the Russians have put in $50 billion into their new venue, its operation and security.

And yes, it is all about television and then something about sports and athletes. And no, Pierre de Coubertin would not recognize this, nor necessarily celebrate what it has become a big, expensive show.

It is possible this whole Olympic business has past it day or maybe should be change in some rational way so that the crushing burden of doing this can be lighten or reduced in some way. Montreal paid for its show for decades, China has abandon expensive venues and overall many of the athletes are not remembered for what they did much less where they did it, they were only just part of the show.

But now the show is different and has been for quite awhile and that is the lasting legacy of fascism, which has been incorporated as what the Olympics has become, pride and ostentation as much as it is a celebration of Citius - Altius - Fortius, faster - higher - stronger.

And no, no one wishes this, but, the Olympics is also about politics and a target for demonstrations and violence.

We can only hope, and that is what there really only is, hope, that no one will be hurt or worse, in the presentation of these Games or any Games that should celebrate world inclusion and peace. But it has happened, more than once. And once in Germany and once even here in the US, in Atlanta, right outside of the CNN headquarters.

The Games will go one, we will watch, and athletes will perform for their sport, their countries, for their own ambitions and a chance to be on television. Remember, one of the most watch television broadcasts in the US ever, was the Olympic ice skating competition with Tonya Harding and Nancy Karrigan.

So we will watch, and be amazed, and then wait for the next thing, such as, the soccer World Cup in Brazil in June where the world once again meets for what is to happen, hopefully without the vuvuzelas.

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Tags: Olympics, sports, television


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Comment by Mandy Muffin on January 27, 2014 at 10:19am

I think the Greeks had the right idea: only men should compete; all competitors must perform in the nude.  Actually, from what I saw of the Grammy awards last night women were allowed to compete, but most felt they had to perform in the near-nude to get any attention. 

I think it is a shame that the games are seen as a target by some groups that much of the free world see as extremist, namely radical Islam.  There have been others who have abused the spirit of international friendly competition in the past, including a example of of our own civil rights protestor, but it was contained to non-violence. 

I have traveled across Russia twice, spending about a month and a half in the country.  I didn't fear for my safety, but I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible.  I knew that police authority is absolute there.  They will shoot you and ask questions later.  I respected all their laws, even those I didn't agree with. 

Russia is not a country that tolerates people who are there to proseletyze a cause, no matter how just they believe it is.  My advice to anyone going to Sochi is to leave your belief system at home and enjoy the show.  Let the State Department deal with such issues.



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